Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Talks About Tourism

FL0811024588 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 0000 GMT 8 Nov 88

[Live report by Mercedes Hernandez with FM unit at Havana's Pab-Expo during
"Exclusivo" newscast hosted by Daniel Torres]

[Text] [Torres] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro is visiting for the second
time the sixth Havana International Fair, which will close today.
Yesterday, Fidel visited the Colombia, Mexico, France, PRCs, Soviet Union,
GDR, CSSR, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Spain pavilions.  He continued
his tour today.

Twenty-three countries representing over 30 commercial firms are attending
the 6th Havana International Fair.  Rebelde's "Exclusivo" establishes
immediate contact with journalist Mercedes Hernandez, who is at the
Pab-Expo in Havana, in one of the FM units, to offer us details of the
commander in chief's tour.  This is a direct contact with one of our FM
units.  Good evening.

[Hernandez] Good evening Daniel, good evening Cuba.  During his tour
through Pab-Expo, where the fair is taking place, Fidel expressed interest
in technologies and products exhibited there.  At the stand of Mexico's
Otis firm, Fidel asked about the production cooperation between the
enterprise and Cuba regarding elevators inasmuch as they are used in our
country in various areas such as hospitals, buildings, and hotels.

Fidel noted the importance Cuban tourist industry has for the development
of the economy.  On this, he told "Exclusivo:"

[Begin recording] [Castro] The tourism industry is important because it
should produce currency for the acquisition of those things the country
needs for development.  It is important; we have to work on learning how to
treat visitors and combat all those things that perturb visitors.  I know
that when something is stolen from a visitor;, all that is [words

Now, there are some 120 km of undeveloped beaches in the northern part of
the country and in the Keys.  We are going to take over those 120 km.  For
example, in Cayo Coco there are over 20km of undeveloped beaches.  Between
the northern coast and the keys, especially in the keys, there are around
120 km of beaches similar to the ones in Varadero.  They are not all the
same.  Some are as good and others are not as good.  But in reality our
northern coast has fabulous natural resources in terms of beaches.  Now we
have to be capable of using these resources and exploiting them.  We don't
have great amounts of oil but we have sun, sea, and a healthy climate.
Let's see.

[Hernandez] Commander, in this sense this is important because of the
development tourism is going to have in the next few years, especially in
the year 2,000.

[Castro] I believe we have no other choice than to develop it a lot.
Another thing is that the development of beaches for international tourists
helps domestic tourists.  Let me five you a very simple example.  There
were 2,000 rooms in Varadero.  During the summer, most of them were used
by domestic tourists.  But even if part of then are used during the summer,
it will always be a small part.  Thirty or 40 percent of the rooms are
occupied.  But this percentage will never be higher.

Tourists who come from more developed countries, with more economic
resources, look for beaches and sun, especially during the winter months.
When Varadero has 30,000 rooms, if 40 percent were occupied by foreign
tourists, 18,000 would still be left for domestic tourists.  So all the
beaches that are going to be developed will also help domestic tourists.
There shouldn't be the idea that everything that is built is going to help
only .... [rephrases] Because there is also a coincidence.  In this
country, where there is a cat mentality regarding cold weather, regarding
cold weather [repeats], nobody wants to get in when the water is 26
degrees.  People go into the water when it is 28, 29, 30, and 31 degrees.
But in the months of January, February, and December nobody goes to the
beach here.  Hotels were empty in the winter for many years.  Nobody went.
Now, in a way this complemented the interests of the country.  Because it
is precisely during these months that our people do not go to the beach
during the months foreign tourists do not go.  Here everyone wants to go to
the beach in July and August.  Hotels will never reach their capacity in
those 2 months alone.

We are planning to continue encouraging camping, especially in the north.
Each year we are building one or two more .... [unidentified speaker
interrupts, words indistinct]

With swimming pools, they have to be build with swimming pools because they
have rocks.  We will use the rocks for slides and stairs.  [Words
indistinct] is well informed about all that. [end recording]